tue 16/04/2024

Americana

Album: Kristin Hersh - Clear Pond Road

Kristin Hersh’s voice, it transpires, is ageless. In the 80s when Throwing Muses broke through, she hit a particular combination of tones – blurring boundaries between harsh and smooth, melodic and discordant, trad and weird – that became vastly...

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Album: Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump for Joy

Any surprises which Jump for Joy brings aren’t about the nature of the music or the unfailingly open lyrics recounting Hiss Golden Messenger main-man M.C. Taylor’s outlook on his life, but an intermittent undertone suggesting he’s been considering...

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Album: Rhiannon Giddens - You're the One

In late 2019, BC, another age, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi stepped on to a Southbank Centre stage and gave one of those mesmerising performances that forever stays in the memory.In the three years or so since, Giddens has been given a...

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Album: William The Conqueror - Excuse Me While I Vanish

Ruarri Joseph is not a household name but in a Sliding Doors scenario, he might have been. Scottish, raised in New Zealand, and based in Cornwall, he signed to Atlantic in 2007, and had the same management as Damien Rice and David Gray. His output...

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Lorrie Moore: I am Homeless If This is Not My Home review - between this world and the next

Lorrie Moore’s brief but haunting I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home is a bizarre, unsettling read. At times it’s a road trip, at others a romance, then supernatural horror, Greek tragedy, or an epistolary short story nestled within the larger...

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Album: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway - City of Gold

Some country music cosies up as close as possible to pop, in hopes of dragging more listeners in, smoothing away the raw backwoods feel. The most famed exemplar of this route is, of course, Taylor Swift, at least in her early career. Other country...

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Album: Lucinda Williams - Stories from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart

2020 was a cruel year for everybody but in addition to the horrors of Covid which included the loss of her compadre John Prine to the virus, Lucinda Williams endured damage to her Nashville home in a tornado and then, in November 2020, she suffered...

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Album: Rufus Wainwright - Folkocracy

"This album is almost like a recorded birthday party and birthday present to myself. I just invited all the singers that I greatly admire and always wanted to sing with." So says Rufus Wainwright, a brilliant and compelling performer – and one, you...

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Gretchen Peters, Cadogan Hall review - writer and performer of exquisite gems

It’s 27 years since Gretchen Peters released her debut album, The Secret of Life, championed by Bob Harris and the late Terry Wogan, whose morning-tide enthusiasms also helped propel Eva Cassidy and Beth Neilsen Chapman to success - the term “...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 76: Elton John, Pharoah Sanders, Hellripper, Jah Wobble, T-Rex and more

There will be two theartsdesk on Vinyls this week. The first is here, an epic 11,000 words on a multitude of new releases in every genre, from reissues of classics to spanking new strangeness. There’s something for everyone. On Thursday we’ll have a...

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Album: boygenius - The Record

Maybe you’ve heard the Native American parable about the two wolves. An old Cherokee’s grandson is grappling with internal tensions; self-hatred and self-aggrandising. For Phoebe Bridgers, one-third of indie supergroup boygenius (usually styled with...

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Suzanne Vega, Royal Festival Hall review - the years melt away

It’s almost 40 years, but I still vividly remember the excitement of hearing Suzanne Vega for the first time. Singer-songwriters had always mattered to me, even though I grew up in the vacuous era of glamrock and insipid teen idols such as David and...

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